Entebbe / Kampala
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Safaris in Uganda typically start and finish in Entebbe or nearby Kampala. Entebbe, on Lake Victoria, was a former British colonial administrative center. The National Botanical Gardens, laid out in 1898, are a must-see here. Uganda’s capital, Kampala, was established during the 13th century Buganda kingdom, one of the oldest in Africa. Built among lush hills and wetlands that were once royal impala-hunting grounds, Kampala today is a modern city of 1.7 million.
Sights & Activities
If taking a day to adjust in Kampala or Entebbe is a priority, there are many sights to see. The National Botanical Gardens offer a beautiful and relaxing introduction the country’s flora and fauna. With nearly a mile of lakefront, the gardens support many habituated vervet monkeys and a variety of birdlife, including Uganda's national bird, the grey crowned crane. A short day trip from Entebbe by boat, Ngamba Island on Lake Victoria contains a 100-acre forest habitat for orphaned and rescued chimpanzees. The island is the headquarters for the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, which focuses on environmental conservation of chimpanzees through education and awareness.
How to Include Entebbe / Kampala in Your Safari Itinerary
Travelers arriving into Entebbe often require an overnight stay before continuing on to one of Uganda’s many wildlife parks. Travelers have a choice to stay either at one of the many lovely hotels in Kampala, about an hour's drive from the airport, or, in case of an early departure the following morning, to stay near the airport in Entebbe. Entebbe offers easy departure access to the many parks of Uganda. Murchison Falls lies in the north on the Nile River, with excellent mammals and bird watching, plus the added bonus of boating trips on the Nile. Kibale Forest is the essential stop for chimpanzee viewing, and nearby Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to famous tree-climbing lions. A supreme highlight of Uganda is Bwindi Impenetrable Park, one of the few natural habitats for critically endangered mountain gorillas. Entebbe also offers direct access to Kenya and Tanzania, making Uganda a great extension to a classic safari in these countries.